The greatest attraction of Bistriţa's Main Square is the Evangelical Church built by Transylvanian Saxons centuries ago. Under the present church were found the foundations of an older worship house raised by the Saxon settlers. The first mentioned parish in official documents was Johannis plebanus de Bystricia, noted in the papal tax registers of 1332-1333. Construction of the Gothic church with Renaissance elements (i.e. the pews) began in 1470 and was completed almost 100 years later by Petrus Italus de Lugano, who added renaissance elements to the structure. A 76.5 m high steeple (Saxons' Tower) overlooking the city was added later, making it the highest stone church tower in Romania.
It is a complex of 13 buildings dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, containing typical Renaissance buildings of Transylvania.
Sugaletele consist of multiple storey buildings, some connected by spacious entrance galleries with 20 arches that are supported by 21 pillars.
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An architectural monument from the beginning of the sixteenth century, the former home of a great master jeweller who decorated the facade (between 1560-1563) with admirable Renaissance stone frames, made by the Italian mason Petrus da Lugano.
This building now hosts the history section of the museum, with a collection of over 10,000 items, including a Mycenaean bronze sword (fifteenth century BC), Thracian bronze (X-XIII centuries BC), Thracian and Scythian ornaments and weapons (late sixth century BC), pottery, weapons and other objects from the Celtic necropolis in Fantanele (IV-II centuries BC), Roman camps of Orheiu Bistritei (Roman and feudal), guild objects.
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The Coopers Tower in the centre of Bistrita, the only surviving tower of the 18 total, has a height of 25 m.
The towers reinforcing the town walls were built in a relatively short period of time, in a Gothic military architecture; they were all similar in appearance.
The building has three levels, of which the upper ones have windows. The lower open space was used as a warehouse, with a massive portal to the city. It ensured, through an underground tunnel, the connection with the Benedictine Abbey, from where the tunnel continued to the Evangelical Cathedral, then to the Burich hill, a former fortress on a hill located near the town.
It is a rectangular building of 6.30 m / 9.90 m. Compared to the enclosure wall it has a 2.00 m withdrawal towards the old city, and an outward extension of 5.10 m. The building is made of stone, and the interior is divided into two parts by a partition wall with a thickness of 0.65 m.
The exterior walls have a thickness of 1.10 m outwards and 1.00 m inwards on the ground floor and on the remaining floors of 0.80 m. The ground floor is actually a 2.50 m high basement.
Entry into this area is done from the city, through a door with broken arch stone frames. There is a slightly larger door and interior space, providing access to the first floor.
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The museum, founded in 1950, after changing several locations, functions today in the former barracks of the 63rd Infantry Regiment, a building dating from 1898. It comprises the following sections: ethnography - folk art, natural science, art, engraving collections, history and archaeology.
The archaeological Collection includes: parts from the Bronze Age belonging to the Wietenberg culture, bronze deposits, inventories from Daco-Celtic tombs, coins from Sieu-Odorhei (II century - I a Ch), Roman and medieval hoards, tools and medieval weapons. The Ethnographic Collection includes Romanian, Hungarian and Saxon folk art pieces: tools, technical installations folk costumes, a cottage, a collection of wooden church chests of drawers, works by artists, mostly Transylvanian. The Geology Collection contains: mine rocks, collections of rocks (especially sandstone concretions) and palaeontology collections. The Department of Natural Sciences shows the fauna of the region.
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According to the census of 1930, mosaic community of Bistrita included 2198 believers, representing 15.55% of the total city population. After the deportation of Jews to Nazi camps in May 1944, but also due to massive emigration to the U.S. and Israel during the Ceausescu era, the synagogue reached a state of disrepair.
Through a loan agreement for 20 years, signed between the head of the Jewish Community in Maharashtra county and the Concert Society of Bistrita, the Synagogue was rebuilt through the "Culture 2000" program, funded by the European Commission, as well as funds from the U.S. Embassy and from various European foundations, County Council, City Council Bistrita, and Ministry of Culture.
The project provided the transformation of the interior in a classical music hall and theatre and the balcony in venue for exhibitions of painting, sculpture or photography. After renovation, the Synagogue regained its glory.
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The Dracula Castle Hotel is located in the Tihuta Pass in Bârgăului Mountains, in Piatra Fantanele, at a 1116 m altitude.
Built in the style of a medieval house in 1983 the hotel has 140 beds divided into 3 apartments and 63 rooms with 2 beds. The accommodations have a private bathroom, telephone and TV.
Due to the tonic climate, the air with the highest iodine content in the atmosphere throughout the country, the landscape of rare beauty and the high quality of the services, the Dracula Castle Hotel is one of the most visited places in the area.
From here you can go hiking: on the old Roman road of Bârgăului Mountains, Magura Calului, and the Rock in Piatra Fantanele.
Ski slopes are arranged in winter, and one can enjoy sleigh rides in the surrounding mountains
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If teleportation existed, Colibita is the place I’d go right now to enjoy the beauty of the lake surrounded by mountains and hills. Also known as “the sea from the mountain” or “the place with the cleanest air in Romania”, Colibita is an oasis of peace and joy, inviting you to admire the nature and forget about all your worries.
Situated at the foot of the Calimani mountains, just 40 km away from Bistrita city, Colibita lake has become more and more attractive for Romanian and foreign tourists due to its virgin beauty and opportunities for leisure: kayaking on the lake, swimming, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, river rafting on Bistrita river and many other interesting activities that kept tourists coming, making the area flourish.
From Bucharest, the easiest is to get there by car, following E60 to Targu Mures, then E578 to Prundul Bargaului and DJ173A to Colibita. The road is pretty long and it has its challenges, as you probably already know the Romanian infrastructure. The fastest way to reach Colibita is from Cluj, only 136 km, so if you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss the chance to visit the area. [Read more]